18 November 2014

topps cards that should have been for the 1978 topps dodgers in 1998 and 1999

topps didn't include managers in their 1998 or 1999 flagship sets, which means that it's up to me to make cards for dusty baker, johnny oates, and bill russell - the three members of the 1978 topps dodgers who were filling out lineup cards in 1998 - and for baker and oates who were the only ones who survived the 1998 season to manage in 1999.

i scanned some 1998 topps cards to work from - chan ho park for the dodgers,
mark gardner for the giants,
and bobby witt for the rangers
but then i decided that  the background behind the name would be too time consuming to replicate, so i scanned a prospects card instead
i changed "prospects" to "managers" and wound up with this 1998 topps card that should have been
i put oates up top because his team performed the best in 1998, in terms of division placement.  he led the rangers to a first place finish in the american league west with an 88-74 record.  it was the second postseason appearance for the franchise (both with oates at the helm), but they were swept in the alds for the second time.  baker's giants actually had the best record of the three teams managed by members of the 1978 topps dodgers; they finished at 89-74 but were 9.5 games behind the first place padres.  the giants' 'extra' game was a one-game playoff against the cubs to determine the wild card winner.  the cubbies won that game 5-3, ending the giants' season in game 163.  finally, bill russell had the dodgers at 36-38 and 12.5 games out of first when he was fired in late june.  the team played better (47-41) behind interim manager glenn hoffman, but they actually lost ground and finished in third place in the nl west with a 83-79 record and 15 games behind the padres.

for 1999, i didn't even bother to scan cards for the giants or rangers.  this 1999 topps raul mondesi card that was languishing in my scanned folder
reminded me that it would be easier to go the prospects card route again for the 1999 card that should have been.  so, i scanned one
and wound up with this
glenn hoffman makes an appearance, as he replaced bill russell during the 1998 season, but was himself replaced by davey johnson by the time the 1999 season started, let alone the time (2001) that topps got around to making manager cards again.  the only hoffman card that i know of featuring him as the team's manager comes from the 1998 mother's cookies (or was it keebler?) set, which is the photo i used.

as for baker and oates and their teams in 1999, the giants finished 86-76, a full 14 games behind the nl west champion arizona diamondbacks and 10.5 games behind the wild card champion mets, but 9 games ahead of the rival dodgers.  the rangers, on the other hand, won the american league west with a 95-67 record, but were swept in the alds by the eventual world champion new york yankees.

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